Being Human, Essay Example

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Words: 1007

Essay

The world can be full of unexpected discoveries and new experiences, but in order to get the most from life and the surrounding world, the person would need to be open to all new. On the other hand, another important matter is an ability of a person to process and store all gained information and data from the experienced life events. We often do not pay much of attention of how important memory, knowledge and wisdom are in our perception of the world, and precious they are in our lives. These considerations were triggered by Dan Simmons novel “Ilium”. The aim of this essay is to characterize the character of Savi and contrast her personality to Ada, Daeman and Harman. This essay shall also cover the issue of faxing and its moral implications.

The very first impression from meeting Savi is that she has seen it all, and that, until a certain extent, she does not care for what is happening. On the other hand, she is an embodiment of the time and subsequent wisdom age and memories can bring. Due to the fact that she was literally alive for more than 1,400 years, and saw changes of epochs from time to time, she can be viewed as an elder and adult in contrast to other characters. In this context, it is no surprise that she is often reluctant to tell them everything mainly because their minds might not be ready for the answers she could provide them with. In this regard, she acts like their parent, protector and teacher – the essence of human relations developed through time of constant interactions.  In other words, she treats Ada, Daeman and Harman not just as young individuals but also comforts and protects them as her children. She is full of compassion and desire to help those lost in darkness of ignorance and lack of knowledge.

Realizing her actual age and the fact that she had no children, Savi also wants to pass her knowledge with the new generation of humans, even if they are destroyed and rebuilt each time they perform their faxing. Through all these years of cryogenic sleep, she needed the audience and followers and she found them in the three eloi. Although she is often reluctant to comfort all curiosities of Harman, share fears of Ada and argue with Deaman in his impatience to know everything, she views the three characters as comrade souls. Probably, in their age, she was the same and it is wisdom of centuries which made her a responsible mentor to guide Harman from pure curiosity to a certain purposeful reason for finding answers. She taught Ada that a woman can be courageous and strong. She also taught Deaman that in order to be a leader one should not simply imagine the right answers; he should know them and responsibility they carry with themselves.

Thus, it can be concluded that the main difference between Savi and three eloi is that she was a mature and experienced soul while they were quite naive and childish in their rebel against the existing order of their ideal society. Although their searching for post-humans started as a necessity for changes, it further brought them to maturity of spirit, wisdom and subsequent responsibility for their lives. In other words, they followed the path Savi had guided for them. Thus, it may be argued that these three characters are Savi of the next millennia.

One of the most remarkable passages of the novel is Savi’s revelation of what faxing actually was. As it is told to three friends, faxing is not the same good old-fashioned teleportation as it is known in this reality. It is about opening one portal to another dimension and travelling through time and space. The faxing is about paying a costly price for movement. The price for destruction of distance is actual death. In this regard, it is not the body combined of exact atoms, which moves from place to place, but rather the information about one’s self-perception (it can be called essence, mind or soul – what makes us individual and human) is stored by machines behind the fax-portals and is inserted into newly structured body from different atoms in another place. Thus, each time the same person finds itself in atomically different vessel. In order to clear all existing changes in the body, like scars or injuries, eloi goes to the infirmary every 20 years in order to fix these changes. The problem was that, after a hundred years, the information was simply destroyed.

The main moral problem of faxing is that, until which extent, a human being is a human being and not a machine with recorded data on the hard drive inserted each time into a different biological vessel. Comparing Savi and her eloi friends, it becomes obvious that the three young individuals do not only lack experience but also certain traditional humanity of the old-fashioned humans. The impression is that they were so many times replicated with the means of machines intrusion that with each human generation more human features were lost and human nature was getting wiped out. So, the author poses a crucial question of what makes us humans. Looking at machines that analyse Shakespeare and true love and at careless eloi in their ideal world, one would challenge the statement that humans are those that have biological body and accept the life as it is given to them and do not change status quo. In all honesty, I think machines and warriors controlled by gods have more free will and human nature in them then those who were dismantled each time they wanted to go somewhere. On the other hand, the path Ada, Deaman and Harman take, shows that it is not even constant integrity of their bodies makes them humans, but rather their decisions and knowledge they gain. On the other hand, in order to remain themselves and out of control of machines or mysterious creatures, they actually need to preserve their bodies the same outside faxing process.

 

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